The Bucks Transportation Management Association is once again holding its High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge. A $500 cash grant prize is at the finish line for the winning schools.
With every Bucks County public and private school involved, students have to find a way to encourage their schoolmates to increase seatbelt usage.
TMA Bucks Executive Director Steven Noll says the students must work hard to come up with creative solutions. The idea is to use peer pressure as a positive force, as classmates encourage each other to stay safe on the road.
“We don’t tell them what to do or how to do it,” Noll said. “This is completely student driven and that’s the most impressive thing. This is students helping students and the results are showing in the numbers that come back on these papers every year.”
When the program started in 2008, it included only four schools. With the smaller sample size, only 65% of students were wearing their seatbelts. But this past fall’s survey with all schools marked four straight years of seatbelt usage above 90%.
Students are encouraged to get creative and come up with their own solutions. One initiative stands out in Noll’s mind.
“Students would stand at the exits of the schools as the students were driving out for the day. If you were wearing your seatbelt, they gave you a Dum Dums lollipop through the window and said, ‘Thanks for not being a dumb-dumb.'”
In addition to the different initiatives, students are also invited to submit Public Safety Announcements. The Teen Driver Safety Video PSA Challenge focus on 30 second videos to promote teen driver safety.
These videos can cover a variety of topics including texting and driving, seatbelt usage, speeding, or other dangers on the roadway. The winner will have their video play on Comcast networking.
Submissions must be uploaded to YouTube and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org before April 1, 2020.
A live interview with Steven Noll on the High School Safety Challenge is available below.